Soldiers of Shropshire Museum is a Regimental Museum which houses the collections of the major county Regiments – the King’s Shropshire Light Infantry and its ancestors; the Shropshire Yeomanry; the Shropshire Royal Horse Artillery and the related county Militia, Volunteers and Territorials of Shropshire.
The museum displays were completely refurbished after a terrorist attack in 1992, re-opening in 1997, and the collection now proudly lives up to the regimental motto: Aucto Splendore Resurgo (I rise again in Greater Splendour)
The exhibition starts in the East Tower and mezzanine, with a display of regimental artefacts and on the Modern Army and The Rifles – the successor to the KSLI. The modern theme, with exhibits on recent deployments, modern armament, uniform and medals continues as you get your first view of the Main Hall below…
The Main Hall tells the story of the Shropshire Regiments, starting with the formation of the 53rd (Shropshire) Regiment by Colonel William Whitmore of Apley in 1755 and of the 85th Light Infantry (the first Light Infantry regiment) by Colonel The Viscount Pulteney in Shrewsbury in 1759. The French Wars of 1793 to 1815 saw the formation or extension of Shropshire’s local regiments, the county Militia, the Yeomanry and the Volunteers, whose successors continue to be represented in today’s armed forces as Reservists. The displays follow the regular regiments up to 1914 as they help to carve out and then garrison a world-wide empire, with the Volunteer and Territorial regiments at home ready for any crisis which might threaten the Nation.
Whilst the Main Hall shows the spectacular part of the regiments’ histories up to 1914, on the ground floor of the Castle, the visitor is taken through the grimmer times of the two World Wars when the men and women of Shropshire served in their thousands, many in specially raised Service and Home Guard battalions.
The regimental story continues with displays on the withdrawal from empire in Africa and the Far East and the era of the Cold War, with the exhibit devoted to the Korean War of 1950-53 illustrating a (then) new phase of soldiering, for the first time under the flag of the United Nations.